Costa Concordia Captain Sentenced To 16 Years

GROSSETO (Reuters) -

An Italian court sentenced the former captain of the Costa Concordia cruise liner to 16 years in prison on Wednesday for his role in the 2012 shipwreck that killed 32 people off the Tuscan holiday island of Giglio.

Francesco Schettino was commanding the vessel when it came too close to shore and hit rocks off the island, tearing a hole in its side.

Schettino was convicted of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his passengers. However, he will not actually go to jail before the end of Italy’s long appeals process, which can take years

Investigators severely criticized Schettino’s handling of the disaster, accusing him of bringing the vessel too close to shore.

He was also accused of delaying evacuation and abandoning ship before all the 4,229 passengers and crew had been rescued.